An incident that happened to an area woman early Friday morning should serve as a reminder about just how important 911 dispatchers are to everyone in the community.
A woman was on her way home at night when a truck in front of her pulled over to let her pass, then pulled in behind her. The truck had "fake police lights," but the woman suspected something was not right, so she called 911. The 911 dispatcher told her not to pull over and gave her instructions, which she followed. The dispatcher did his best to keep the woman calm while alerting officers to what was going on. The woman met up safely with police at a convenience store and made a report. Law enforcement officers are still looking for the suspect in the truck.
Muskogee County's 911 dispatchers are tops in their field.
Dispatchers have special kinds of skills. They have to be supreme at multi-tasking. They have to get emergency personnel alerted, keep the caller calm and document everything — all at the same time.
Their work includes handling all kinds of callers who are not always able to provide the information a dispatcher would need to get help to them. People can be mean, rude, scared and/or panicky when faced with emergency situations. Dispatchers also have to deal with callers who want to complain about their cable going out or some other issue that 911 can't fix. Not everyone does as well under pressure as these professionals. They remain calm and patient, something most of us would not be able to do in the same situations.
If you meet someone who is a dispatcher, give them a pat on the back and let them know they are appreciated. They are more special than most people will ever know.